Thursday 26 April 1660

This day came Mr. Donne back from London, who brought letters with him that signify the meeting of the Parliament yesterday. And in the afternoon by other letters I hear, that about twelve of the Lords met and had chosen my Lord of Manchester Speaker of the House of Lords (the young Lords that never sat yet, do forbear to sit for the present); and Sir Harbottle Grimstone, Speaker for the House of Commons. The House of Lords sent to have a conference with the House of Commons, which, after a little debate, was granted.

Dr. Reynolds preached before the Commons before they sat.

My Lord told me how Sir H. Yelverton (formerly my school-fellow) was chosen in the first place for Northamptonshire and Mr. Crew in the second. And told me how he did believe that the Cavaliers have now the upper hand clear of the Presbyterians.

All the afternoon I was writing of letters, among the rest one to W. Simons, Peter Luellin and Tom Doling, which because it is somewhat merry I keep a copy of.

After that done Mr. Sheply, W. Howe and I down with J. Goods into my Lord’s storeroom of wine and other drink, where it was very pleasant to observe the massy timbers that the ship is made of. We in the room were wholly under water and yet a deck below that.

After that to supper, where Tom Guy supped with us, and we had very good laughing, and after that some musique, where Mr. Pickering beginning to play a bass part upon the viall did it so like a fool that I was ashamed of him.

After that to bed.

23 Annotations

Roger Miller   Link to this

Sir Harbottle Grimstone

This is the entry from the 1911 encylopedia: http://35.1911encyclopedia.org/G/GR/GRIMSTOL_SI... (Surname slightly mis-scanned.)

Nix   Link to this

Sir Harbottle Grimstone?

That has to be something out of Dickens. Or Wodehouse.

By any chance has the "somewhat merry" letter survived?

Paul Brewster   Link to this

"Somewhat merry" letter
The L&M footnote to this is short and to the point: "Untraced."

Hhomeboy   Link to this

Q: letters and copies thereof...

In order to make a copy did Sam need to rewrite the original or was there some sort of carbon paper available?

As for office practices, would some letters forwarded by Sam to the Admiralty then be copied by a clerk for record keeping and/or the need to furnish duplicates to other offices?

Laura K   Link to this

copies

I don't know when carbon paper was invented, but even in Victorian times (well after this diary was written), copies were made by copying the original, by hand.

Roger Miller   Link to this

Carbon paper

wasn't invented until the beginning of the 19th century. http://www.kevinlaurence.net/essays/cc.shtml

Nix   Link to this

It would be mighty tough to get a carbon copy from the pressure of a quill pen on the thick paper of the 17th centry.

Roger Miller   Link to this

James Watt's copying machine

"In 1780 he had patented what was probably the earliest form of copier, a press-copier which he marketed through his own company, James Watt & Co. The process involved writing with ink mixed with gum arabic. When a sheet of damp tissue paper was pressed against the manuscript, some of the ink stuck to it, creating a mirror image of the original on the tissue paper. By turning the copy over it could then be read through the tissue paper."

http://jquarter.members.beeb.net/morejwatt.htm

Not any help to Pepys though. He must have kept summary records of the documents he issued and received even if he didn't keep complete copies otherwise he would lose track of what he had done. On Saturday 21st April he made a point of mentioning that he kept the 'very well writ' letter from Mr Moore so that implies that he didn't ordinarily retain letters.

vincent   Link to this

"copy" Distribution if warranted it was type set and printed for posterity.

Hhomeboy   Link to this

Ask a silly Q...

and you get all the rt. answers. I knew of Watt's machine but it is much later of course....

I was really wondering whether we could tell from the diary entries aboard if Sam had someone he dictated to or who made clerk's copies of some of his correspondence...although even if he had someone qualified/able, my impression is that Sam would not want to let a mere clerk into his confidence: he is his own confidant (and millions of readers are the beneficiaries!)...

mary   Link to this

Mr. Moore's well writ letter

could, of course, be a wholly private communication, as Moore is Sam's own place-man in the Exchequer. In this case, Sam would be commenting on the exceptional preservation of a personal letter rather than the mere noting of its contents.

tamara   Link to this

Thomas Jefferson
also invented a copying machine which was essentially a duplicate pen yoked side by side to the pen (or perhaps pencil) with which the writer was actually writing, so that it simply reproduced the words on another piece of paper simultaneously. No extra work required except, I suppose, adding ink (or sharpening pencil). If I remember rightly you can see it at Jefferson's house, Monticello.

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

This invention has since been rediscovered many times by schoolchildren condemned to write 'lines' as a punishment.

Nigel Pond   Link to this

Ah yes line-writing machines. Some of the pupils at school with me in the 70's were very inventive, producing wooden sticks with holes spaced a line's height apart. Insert pens and away you go. I think someone made a 20 pen version, but it was rather unwieldy.

Was't there also a children's toy based on the Jeffersonian idea, that allowed you to copy drawings, not only at their original size, but also enlarge them? What was that thing called?

Keir Finlow-Bates   Link to this

Nigel, the device you are thinking of is called a pantograph. See http://users.hubwest.com/hubert/mrscience/panto... for information on how to make one.

Emilio   Link to this

Today's political happenings
There are political cross-currents in today's news that aren't obvious on the surface.
First, according to an L&M footnote, both Manchester and Grimstone are strong Presbyterians, who are thus now in leading positions in both houses. However, Montagu confides that after the elections "the Cavaliers have now the upper hand clear of the Presbyterians." We see the results of this jockeying for power in the upcoming days.
However, the most significant sentence in the entry is the short one about the concurrence between Lords and Commons. L&M explain in another footnote: "The Lords had sent a message proposing the concurrence of the Commons in keeping a fast on the following Monday. [See entry for 30 Apr.] By receiving the message the Commons recognised the legal existence of the Lords." And just like that, there is an upper house again after more than a decade; no muss, no fuss, no bother.
And note to LH: The sentence in L&M is that the young Lords had never "sot" yet, noted in the OED as a dialectal form of 'sat'. I just love seeing the occasional odd verb form turn up in Pepys.

vincent   Link to this

"Sot" ME - fool , an habitual Drunkard, besotted, make dull or stupid
my take is "would be still be wet behind the ears"

http://www.allaboutturkey.com/suleyman.htm

"Suleyman the Magnificent 1494 -1556 known for his son
he introduced coffee houses and other events,
his son and Hurrem sultan wife most powerful
Her son Selim was known as The Sot, became the next Sultan
sat would be too PC

language hat   Link to this

Emilio: Yes, I like "sot" too!
(vincent: nothing to do with the noun)

vicenzo   Link to this

Thanksgiving Day.
Resolved, &c. That this Day Fortnight be set apart, for a Day of Thanksgiving to the Lord, for raising up his Excellency the Lord General, and other eminent Persons, who have been instrumental in Delivery of this Nation from Thraldom and Misery.
Resolved, &c. That this Day Fortnight be set apart for a Day of Thanksgiving, for this House, the Cities of London and Westminster, and late Lines of Communication; and this Day Month, for the whole Nation.
Resolved, &c. That the Lords Concurrence be desired herein; and that Mr. Herbert be sent up with this Message to the Lords.

From: British History Online
Source: House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 26 April 1660. Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8, (1802).
URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com...
Date: 05/03/2005

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"All the afternoon I was writing of letters, among the rest one...I keep a copy of."

Until the 19th century, the papers of government officials and other "people of quality" would contain letters to and from correspondents (see the Letters on this site http://www.pepysdiary.com/letters/ ).

This was the result of the habit of first making a draft, emending it as needed, then when it was satisfactory, making a "fair copy" to send. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fair_copy The draft copy could be kept for the files.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The House of Commons registers its relief: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Gen. Monck thanked.

Resolved, &c. That his Excellency the Lord General George Monck have the Recognition, Acknowledgment, and hearty Thanks, of this House, for his eminent and unparalleled Services done for these Nations.

Mr. Speaker did accordingly give the Thanks of this House unto his Excellency the Lord General Monck, standing in his Place, to the Effect following:

That he is commanded by this House to take Notice of his eminent Services; his Wisdom being such, and God having so blessed him in his great Affairs, that he hath made a Conquest of those who are Enemies and disaffected to the Government, Happiness, and Welfare of this Church and State, without a bloody Nose; that That hath much advanced the Honour of his Services, having been effected without the Expence of Blood or Treasure, of both which the Nation had been so much exhausted, that nothing but a Necessity could rationally have satisfied any Man to draw out more; that his Lordship hath been our Physician, and hath cured us with his Lenitives; that Statues have been heretofore set up for Persons meriting much of their Country; but his Lordship hath a Statue set up higher, and in another Place, as high as may be, in the Hearts of all Wellwishers to the Good of this Nation, and a Crown of Glory, he doubts not, laid up for him in Heaven; that God hath made him instrumental, by his helping Hand, to keep the Nation from sinking, when no Way was represented to our Understanding whence Deliverance should arise; so that God's raising him up, accompanying, blessing, and assisting, him in his Counsels, in such Sort as to accomplish his Work to that Height, cannot be otherwise owned by those that look upon him, and his Actions, than as a Miracle; and therefore, in the Name of the House, he returns to his Lordship the hearty Thanks of this House; adding, He is sure his Lordship would believe it, if he had not said so.

Dick Wilson   Link to this

An earlier annotation asked for clarification of codes, ciphers, and characters from annotators who had worked with codes. In my youth I was an Air Force codes officer, however, these days, the message encryption process is so highly automated that it bears no resemblance to the processes Pepys used. A very few pen and paper ciphers remain, and they are so very weak that they are changed daily, and are used only to protect information that needs security for a brief period of time. For instance, you might want to tell someone that an aircraft has taken off, while concealing that fact from hostile eavesdroppers long enough for the plane to land.
In Pepys’s day they used nomenclators that were part code, part cipher. A box with a dot in it might mean “The Pope”. Two boxes one atop the other with a dot in the top might mean “The King” and a dot in the bottom might mean “The Duke of York”, and dots in both boxes “the King and Duke of York”. Special meanings were assigned to Greek letters, and all of these had to have a spelling table to encipher words and phrases for which no symbols were provided. You can see how Pepys would have trouble alphabetizing the list of entries. Does Theta come after T? Where do you put this symbol that looks like a backwards R? If they were reasonably short – one or two pages – you could use the same “character” for both enciphering and deciphering messages. If they were long, you needed a two-part character, one part with the symbols in order, and the second with the meanings in order. Again there were problems with alphabetizing the list. Suppose one entry was for the phrase “His Most Christian Majesty King Louis of France”, would you put the entry under H for “His”, L for “Louis” or F for “France”?

These characters were hard to use, slow and cumbersome both to send, and to receive. A trusted messenger with unenciphered text was often faster, and just as secure.
They avoided transposition ciphers, in which the order of letters or words were scrambled, largely because almost any error would render the message gibberish from the point of the error to the end, and errors are very hard to avoid. Steganography, which has seen a modern resurgence in use, was used in the 17th Century, but often as a one-time message. For example, if someone received a gift of two oranges, it might mean “burn your papers and get out of town, quick!” If the authorities intercepted the message, it would just be a snack.
I recommend David Khan’s books if anyone is seriously interested in the subject.

Dick Wilson   Link to this

Sorry, spelling error. Make that David "Kahn".

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